8/15 – 8/31
It took us five days to travel the 1089 miles from Dillon, Montana to RoVer’s Roost campground in Casa Grande, Arizona (I15, US50, I70, US89/US89A, I40, I17, SR101, I10). Our first stop was a Walmart in Pocatello, Idaho. Joan enjoyed the shopping within walking distance and we both enjoyed a 4 star meal at the Texas Roadhouse (560 Bullock Street, 208-238-7427). The next stop was another Walmart in Richfield, Utah. The third night we stopped just north of Flagstaff at Bonito National Forest Campground. We could not get to the spot we were planning to overnight at because the road was closed. Luckily, Bonito was on the way back from the closed road. Somewhere along the way we had developed a fuel leak which changed our plans for the next day. Originally, we had planned to drive directly to Casa Grande, instead we headed for the Cummins repair facility in Avondale (just outside Phoenix). Although we did not have an appointment they got us in, found a loose hose clamp and stopped our leak. We stayed in their lot overnight and the next day arrived in Casa Grande.
Most of our time in Casa Grande has been spent getting ready for our cruise in September (more about the cruise below). We had typical Casa Grande summer weather during our stay – hot, hot, hot! Temperatures ranged between 102 and 107 during the day and dropped as low as 85 at night.
Sue Fairless came up from Tucson to visit for a couple of days. We had her over for a chicken dinner and Sue supplied the dessert, excellent homemade English truffle. We celebrated our 47th anniversary on the 31st when Sue treated us to a delicious 4.5 star meal at Pacific Seafood (3110 N. Arizona Ave. Chandler, AZ 480-892-5898). It was great seeing Sue again.
That is our August saga. For the next four months we will be doing some serious traveling without our home. On September 4th we fly out of Phoenix for Amsterdam, Netherlands. From Amsterdam we take a bus to Rotterdam where we board the ms Rotterdam for 106 days of cruising. The first 21 days we will be sailing to 11 ports in Norway and 1 in England. The next 85 days we begin our new occupations as art instructor (Joan) and water boy (Ken). We are certainly looking forward to this new experience. During the 85 days we will visit 7 ports in Spain, 2 ports in Portugal, 4 ports in Italy, 2 ports in Sicily, 9 ports in Greece, 2 ports in turkey, 2 ports in Israel, 2 ports in Egypt, 2 ports in the Canary Islands and one port in the following – England, Gibraltar, Corsica, Monaco, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, Madeira and Morocco. Out of all these ports, we have previously visited only three.
Although we will be writing about all our travels, we will not be doing it until our return (December 20th). So, this is the last journal you will be getting until next year. However, you will be getting a bunch then! Also we will be suspending our cell phone service on September 5th until our return. I asked Verizon what would happen if someone called our suspended number and they did not seem to know.
We think that we will have email, but internet service is usually poor and expensive on cruise ships, so time will tell. If you would like to see where our ship is in “almost” real time try this link: http://www.cruisemapper.com/ms-Rotterdam-location?imo=9122552
In August we put1089 miles on the house and 304 miles on the Jeep.